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Lost - and words that help

I'm sure a few people are wondering what's happened to my blog lately (I know I am!).  It's gone from a hubbub of reviews and photos and roundups, to either radio silence; or smatterings of poetry and bits and bobs placed here just to avoid losing the flow completely.  It's not that I've gone off blogging, it's just that I've slowed down with almost everything so much lately that I'm finding it hard to start again.

Back in October/November I got myself really quite burned out.  My diary had entries for every day, my to-do lists stretched on for pages and pages, I was working hard and playing hard.  After Christmas I resolved to slow down a little - I cleared my diary so that I had very few plans through January, and I've spent a huge amount of time home alone due to Tom's work commitments.  I don't have many friends where we live (as we moved half-way between our friends and family to live together), but I thought I'd relish all that time alone to read, do yoga, blog, cuddle Bodhi and take long Lush-filled baths.

Instead I found myself wandering the house aimlessly, as if I was looking for something I'd lost.  So many free evenings stretched out in front of me and I just couldn't get a handle on what to do with them.  We both should really be wedding planning but the enormity of the task has left us pushing it to the back of the drawer, like that pile of pizza menus and batteries you really should sort out but don't have the energy to do.

img credit: portlandjetaime

I always thought of myself as an introvert - someone that took all of their energy from being alone. But being alone so much lately has meant I've started to feel a little lost.  Call it January blues, or the enormity of wedding planning (and, let's face it, the idea of getting married is both incredibly exciting, and a little scary!), call it not enough sunshine or the pressure of a New Year, but things have got a little off track.  I've not been doing any of the things that usually nourish and repair me; I've not really been eating properly, or exercising, or meditating, or practising yoga, I've just been wandering aimlessly and waiting for it to pass.  It's been a few weeks now though, and it hasn't really passed.  I feel a little like I've climbed down into a hole and gotten used to being in the dark.  I am angry at myself for this happening; I know I have so much to be happy for.  
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I am hoping with the lighter evenings will bring renewed energy and direction.  I don't seem to have much energy for running, or yoga, but I want to get myself back out there as I know the feeling afterwards will be worth it.  I've been searching in books and on Pinterest (so cliché) for little snippets of words that will help and I came across this on Tumblr.  The author doesn't seem to blog anymore but I've linked to her blog anyway.  It has helped me today - I hope that if you're feeling low or need a little direction, that it will help you too.

1 6  s t e p s  t o  h a p p i n e s s  { by Emma Elsworthy}

1. push yourself to get up before the rest of the world - start with 7am, then 6am, then 5:30am. go to the nearest hill with a big coat and a scarf and watch the sun rise.

2. push yourself to fall asleep earlier - start with 11pm, then 10pm, then 9pm. wake up in the morning feeling re-energized and comfortable. 

3. erase processed food from your diet. start with no lollies, chips, biscuits, then erase pasta, rice, cereal, then bread. use the rule that if a child couldn’t identify what was in it, you don’t eat it.

4. get into the habit of cooking yourself a beautiful breakfast. fry tomatoes and mushrooms in real butter and garlic, fry an egg, slice up a fresh avocado and squirt way too much lemon on it. sit and eat it and do nothing else. 

5. stretch. start by reaching for the sky as hard as you can, then trying to touch your toes. roll your head. stretch your fingers. stretch everything.

6. buy a 1L water bottle. start with pushing yourself to drink the whole thing in a day, then try drinking it twice.

7. buy a beautiful diary and a beautiful black pen. write down everything you do, including dinner dates, appointments, assignments, coffees, what you need to do that day. no detail is too small.

8. strip your bed of your sheets and empty your underwear draw into the washing machine. put a massive scoop of scented fabric softener in there and wash. make your bed in full.

9. organise your room. fold all your clothes (and bag what you don’t want), clean your mirror, your laptop, vacuum the floor. light a beautiful candle.

10. have a luxurious shower with your favourite music playing. wash your hair, scrub your body, brush your teeth. lather your whole body in moisturiser, get familiar with the part between your toes, your inner thighs, the back of your neck.

11. push yourself to go for a walk. take your headphones, go to the beach and walk. smile at strangers walking the other way and be surprised how many smile back. bring your dog and observe the dog’s behaviour. realise you can learn from your dog.

12. message old friends with personal jokes. reminisce. suggest a catch up soon, even if you don’t follow through. push yourself to follow through.

14. think long and hard about what interests you. crime? sex? boarding school? long-forgotten romance etiquette? find a book about it and read it. there is a book about literally everything. 

15. become the person you would ideally fall in love with. let cars merge into your lane when driving. pay double for parking tickets and leave a second one in the machine. stick your tongue out at babies. compliment people on their cute clothes. challenge yourself to not ridicule anyone for a whole day. then two. then a week. walk with a straight posture. look people in the eye. ask people about their story. talk to acquaintances so they become friends.

16. lie in the sunshine. daydream about the life you would lead if failure wasn’t a thing. open your eyes. take small steps to make it happen for you.

***

I don't know how to finish this, except to say that the reason I'm posting this here is because I've read a few blog posts recently where people have been open about struggling with things, and it helped me a lot.  It helps to know you're not the only one now and then waving a little flag that says "This stuff is tough, I'm finding it hard".  I think especially as women, we feel like we have to have things dialled and under control all of the time, and put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect.  So I'm telling myself, and everyone else, that it's okay to not be perfect, or even good, now and then.  And now it's my time to climb out of the hole.


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